This week a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialist working at the Houston Seaport kept a "First in the Nation" pest from entering the country.

The pest was an adult leafhopper and it was found inside a shipment of wine and tiles coming in from Italy. This leafhopper was the first ever seen introduced to this area, but luckily the specialist intercepted the pest continuing the integrity of U.S. agriculture.

Usually, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal (USDA) would have required the shipment to be sprayed with a solution to prevent cross contamination between countries, but the USDA determined the shipment could not be treated because the wine corks would absorb the Methyl Bromide fumigant. If this happened the entire shipment would be deemed unsafe for human consumption.

The shipment has been sent back to Italy in order to prevent any further exchange between the two continents.

"CBP agriculture specialists pay such microscopic attention to detail when inspecting agriculture products that they are able to find the tiniest of pests or plant disease," said Acting Area Port Director Erik Shoberg. "This interception is an example of how our agriculture specialists work to prevent the introduction of harmful pests that could negatively affect U.S. agriculture."